Isabelle Roughol – The J junkie

The tribulations of a young journalist and writer looking for work

Santa Cruz Sentinel loses its longtime editor; moves to one-man leadership

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‘Tis my day to write about my editors under fire. Tom Honig is stepping down as editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, where I interned this summer.

Nothing has trickled down yet about the reason for the decision. Let’s be honest, info rarely does trickle down within Medianews, a private company that doesn’t have shareholders to be accountable to. Not much to blog about thus, except, well, it sucks. I didn’t work with Tom much; there’s a whole range of people between the big man and the intern. But he seemed a good editor to me, who cared about the Santa Cruz community, and he definitely did not look happy when he announced job cuts in a staff meeting this June.

Tom is still a bit young for retirement; we’ll see where he ends up, but it doesn’t sound to me like an entirely voluntary decision. Managing editor Don Miller is taking up the editor spot, but no one will replace him as ME. Convenient way for Dean Singleton, owner of Medianews, which owns the Sentinel, to cut likely the newsroom’s biggest salary from the budget. Would that free up 2 or 3 budgetary units to rehire some of the 8 reporters, photographers and production people fired this summer? For instance, the only guy who could design a graphic? Not likely.

The Sentinel has been in crisis for a while now. After multiple sales, it ended up in the portfolio of Mr. Singleton, a man not quite dedicated to journalistic excellence. Since I was there this summer, it has moved to new offices in Scotts Valley, a few miles out of Santa Cruz. For the complete background, check out the Sentinel’s announcement. I’ll scan their headlines over the next few days for more developments.

Good luck Tom, it was a pleasure working with you. Good luck, Don, on taking up two men’s work.


Written by Isabelle Roughol

Wednesday, 28 November, 2007 at 19:00

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